In August of 2007, I went to the World Science Fiction Convention in Yokohama, Japan, with my friend and fellow science-fiction fan, John Nelson. We were privileged to be among the attendees at the first WorldCon held in Asia, and I tried to blog about the trip in both English and Japanese. I was taking Japanese courses at George Mason University, but I hadn’t learned enough to do what I wanted to do, so my English was too simple and my Japanese too crude to be useful. Plus, it was taking so much time trying to write in Japanese that I ended up dropping that idea, along with the class I was taking!
We both ended up getting apartments in Tokyo for the month of September, renting from a company called “Sakura House” that specializes in short-term apartments for foreigners. We stayed at a town in Tokyo called Monzennakacho, which was just across the Sumida river from downtown Tokyo. We used those apartments as our bases of operation, and we managed to see a lot of Tokyo and Japan during that month. We often went to the same places at the same time, but also split up to see different parts of the country, John going west to Kyoto, and I went north to the Tohoku region of Japan.
I went north because I wanted to see where my brother Darrell had been stationed back in the 50′s, to see how much it had changed. At the time I stayed in Matsushima, which was beautiful, and went all the way up to Hachinohe, and saw the US-Japan air base in Misawa. I saw a lot of the countryside, and started thinking about possibly bringing Darrell over one day to show him what Japan is like.
For what it’s worth, here are the few blog entries I made during that trip. Please forgive the crappy English and Japanese!